Deroy Murdock: DOJ and FBI subjected Trump to Watergate without the break-inBy DEROY MURDOCK
February 08. 2018 10:07PM
Two recently declassified documents offer chilling details on how deeply Department of Justice and FBI leaders intervened in the 2016 election, to advance Hillary Clinton and stymie Donald J. Trump.
GOP senators Charles Grassley of Iowa and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina penned a Jan. 4 criminal referral against former British spy Christopher Steele. A Jan. 18 memo by House Intelligence Committee Republicans outlines DOJ and FBI abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).
These records confirm actions by Trump haters atop DOJ and FBI to assure Hillary’s election and foil Trump’s nascent government by deceiving federal judges (in another branch of government) and manipulating America’s intelligence institutions. Why break into the opposition party’s headquarters to plant listening devices — as befell the Democratic National Committee’s offices in the Watergate building in June 1972 — when Hillary essentially purchased a search warrant to eavesdrop on her rival’s campaign?
“In short,” Grassley and Graham explain, “it appears the FBI relied on admittedly uncorroborated information, funded by and obtained for Secretary Clinton’s Presidential campaign, in order to conduct surveillance of an associate of the opposing presidential candidate.”
Among these papers’ key findings:
• “According to the law firm Perkins Coie,” Grassley and Graham write, in June 2016, “Mr. Steele’s dossier-related efforts were funded through Fusion GPS by that law firm on behalf of the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton Campaign.” Steele’s work scored him $160,000.
• Grassley and Graham note: “On the face of the dossier, it appears that Mr. Steele gathered much of his information from Russian government sources inside Russia.” So, the relentless, fruitless quest for Russian collusion among Team Trump instead finds it among Team Clinton — and as elusive as a May Day march through Red Square.
• Two of the FBI’s successful applications to spy on former Trump adviser Carter Page “relied heavily on Mr. Steele’s dossier claims.” The first, dated Oct. 21, 2016, “appears to contain no additional information corroborating the dossier allegations against Mr. Page.”
• As the House Intelligence Committee study further explains, the “FBI assessed Steele’s reporting as only minimally corroborated.” Also, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe “testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information.”
So, Steele’s bucket of mud was central to the FBI’s surveillance application, “salacious and unverified” — as former FBI chief James Comey described it in June 2017, and backed by little else but news articles based on the dossier itself. Circular? This is spherical.
• The House report says that “material and relevant information was omitted” from the FBI’s surveillance petition in October 2016 and in subsequent renewal requests. “The application does not mention Steele was ultimately working on behalf of — and paid by — the DNC and Clinton campaign,” the paper adds.
• Steele communicated with Bruce Ohr, a leading DOJ authority. According to Ohr, Steele “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being President.” The House document adds: “This clear evidence of Steele’s bias was…not reflected in any of the Page applications.”
• Ohr’s wife, Nellie, also trolled for anti-Trump muck at Fusion GPS. Regardless, House Republicans observe, “The Ohrs’ relationship with Steele and Fusion GPS was inexplicably concealed from the FISC.”
None of this is funny or cute. Liberals who laugh this off should imagine that John McCain’s campaign paid Oliver North to develop a file of baseless, prurient rubbish about Obama, and then forwarded it to Obama haters in G.W. Bush’s DOJ and FBI. They then used that filth to bamboozle a FISC judge into giving Bush’s FBI a warrant to spy on Obama’s campaign. Had this fictitious plot existed, Democrats and their media henchpersons would have hollered for the perpetrators’ heads on spikes — and understandably so.
Instead, lacking empathy or fairness, Democrats and the Old Guard media seem totally cool with a scenario that seems plagiarized from Christina Kirchner’s Argentina or Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela.
Deroy Murdock is a contributing editor with National Review Online.